Festival April 2024

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Edition of Taste for Life April 2024 Earth Day ideas Boost brain health Plant-based protein inside SEE PAGE 9 See pages 16, 17 and the back cover for this month’s featured items! berry smoothie bowl very


While mangos might not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of “superfoods,” these sweet, tropical fruits are nutritional powerhouses!

Low in calories and packed with vitamins and nutrients, mangos are especially high in vitamin C, which aids immunity, supports iron absorption, and helps protect cells from damage.

Mangos are also a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant and plant pigment that gives mangos their bright yellow-orange color. Antioxidants like betacarotene fight free radicals and can help lower cancer risk.

In addition, mangos contain dietary fiber to support healthy digestion. They’re rich sources of magnesium and potassium, key nutrients for cardiovascular health.

Mangos are wonderful to eat fresh on their own, or with other types of fruit, like berries and melons. They’re also perfect for blending into smoothies, or used as an ingredient in chutneys, salsas, jams, salads, and grain bowls—you can even toss sliced mango on the grill!

Leave mangos on the counter to ripen at room temperature. Once ripe, they can be refrigerated for several days (peeled and cut) or up to five days (unpeeled). ●

SELECTED SOURCES “Is mango the luscious superhero of fruit?” by M.E. Fernandez, American Heart Association News, www.Heart.org, 6/2/21 • “Mango-licious: The top 6 health benefits of mango” Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials, https://Health.ClevelandClinic.org, 7/2/23 • “The versatility of mango,” The National Mango Board, www.Mango.org, 2023

Did you know?

Mango skin contains urushiol, a plant oil that causes the itchy rash associated with other members of the cashew family like poison ivy and poison oak. If you’re sensitive to urushiol, it’s a good idea to wear gloves when peeling mangos.

[ healthy pick ]
2 APRIL 2024



12 anti-inflammatory meals

Recipes to support your health goals.


5 market gourmet Whoopie Pies

6 health front

Salmon linked to many health benefits • Fruit helps to control inflammation • Sugar and salt raise diabetes risk • More

12 anti-inflammatory meals Fennel & Citrus Salad with Smoky Green Onion Dressing • Salad of Warm Smoked Fish with Blueberries, Avocado, Walnuts & Greens • Very Berry Beet Smoothie Bowl

18 quick tips

Strategies to cut down on plastic waste.

20 healthy family

Everything you need to know about Lyme disease.

22 give your brain a boost!

Nutrients to support cognition, memory, and more.

26 cook-at-home

Plant protein is an important part of a healthy diet.

28 healthy strategies

Lower your risk of developing kidney stones.

Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations.
april contents ]
APRIL 2024 3

recipe finder

5 Whoopie Pies

12 Fennel & Citrus Salad with Smoky Green Onion Dressing

14 Salad of Warm Smoked Fish with Blueberries, Avocado, Walnuts & Greens

15 Very Berry Beet Smoothie Bowl

27 Black Bean Burgers

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Published monthly by Taste for Life®, 155 Washington Street, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); © 2024 Connell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. This magazine is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by health professionals. The opinions expressed by contributors and sources quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Information appearing in this magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher.

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Extraordinary (50 percent or better), ★★★★ Top source, ★★★ Excellent source, ★★ Good source, ★ Fair source

Mediterranean Diet dinners
Improve digestion
Easy egg dishes [ covering
] coming in may
a note on recipes
Edamam. Nutritional values vary depending on portion size, freshness of ingredients, storage, and cooking techniques. They should be used only as a guide. Star ratings are based on standard values (SVs) that are currently recommended: ★★★★★
4 APRIL 2024

market gourmet ]

Whoopie Pies

From the Taste for Life test kitchen

2 c all-purpose flour

½ c unsweetened cocoa powder

1¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ stick unsalted butter, softened

²⁄³ c light brown sugar

1 egg

1 c plain Greek yogurt

¼ c low-fat milk

1 tsp vanilla extract


1 c low-fat cream cheese, softened

1¼ c powdered sugar

¼ c plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350˚.

2. Oil two rimmed baking sheets, or line them with parchment paper. Set aside.

3. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

4. With a hand mixer or a standing mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined. Add egg and beat in. Add yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture in three additions.

5. With an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, create 24 mounds with the batter, placing them 2 inches apart on baking sheets with 12 mounds per sheet.

6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through cooking time, until a toothpick inserted into center of a cake comes out with

90 min prep time makes 12 pies (approximately 2½" each)

just a few crumbs stuck to it. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool.

7. With a high-speed mixer or a stand mixer, beat softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, yogurt, and vanilla extract until smooth. Chill filling for 30 minutes to stiffen it up for spreading.

8. Drop a generous spoonful of filling onto flat side of one cake. Gently press flat side of a second cake over filling. Repeat until all cakes have been filled.

Kitchen Note: This recipe eliminates the traditional marshmallow filling for a tangier and less sweet cream-cheese frosting. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Per serving (1 whoopie pie): 269 Calories, 7 g Protein, 38 mg Cholesterol, 41 g Carbohydrates, 22 g Total sugars (20 g Added sugars), 2 g Fiber, 9 g Total fat (5 g sat), 241 mg Sodium, ★ Vitamin B12, Phosphorus

APRIL 2024 5

why salmon is stellar

“Fish is one of the few animal foods consistently linked to health benefits, and salmon is at the top of my list when I recommend fish to people,” Tufts University cardiologist Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, recently told the New York Times. “It’s really the perfect fish,” he said, crediting salmon’s powerful omega-3 fatty acids.

SOURCE “Just how healthy is salmon?” by Markham Heid, www.NewYorkTimes.com, 1/8/24

fabulous, fragrant fruit

Most fruits pack an abundance of nutrients, with health-enhancing vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They’re also known to help reduce inflammation in the body. Harvard Medical School rates these fruits among the best for controlling inflammation:

n Berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries

n Apples and pears

n Stone fruits, such as apricots, cherries, peaches, and plums

n Citrus fruit, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes

n Grapes and pomegranates

SOURCE “Eat these fruits for their anti-inflammatory benefits,” HEALTHbeat, Harvard Medical School, 1/9/24

[ health front ] NEWS THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU
6 APRIL 2024

salt may increase diabetes risk

High sugar intake is a proven risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, but did you know that salt might also contribute? A study of more than 400,000 adults linked frequently adding salt to food with higher diabetes risk.

“We already know that limiting salt can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, but this study shows for the first time that taking the saltshaker off the table can help prevent Type 2 diabetes as well,” said Tulane University researcher Lu Qi, MD, PhD.

Dr. Qi believes that adding salt encourages people to eat larger portions, which can increase diabetes risk factors such as obesity and inflammation.

SELECTED SOURCES “Dietary sodium intake and risk of incident Type 2 diabetes” by X. Wang et al., Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 10/11/23

• “New research links high salt consumption to risk of Type 2 diabetes,” Tulane University, 11/1/23

try spices instead of salt

Our senses of taste and smell tend to diminish as we age. “Some people make up for this loss by adding more salt to their food,” nutritionist Carolyn Ross, PhD, recently told Consumer Reports. “Seasoning with herbs and spices tricks the taste buds, so you don’t realize the salt’s missing.”

Basil, cayenne, chipotle, roasted garlic, and a lemonherb blend are among the tasty and healthful options recommended in the report.

SOURCE “Want to avoid salt? Try these lower-sodium seasoning ideas instead” by Sharon Liao, Consumer Reports via WashingtonPost.com, 12/18/23

APRIL 2024 7

planting the seeds of health

Children who grow food and prepare it in elementary school tend to have healthy eating habits years later, according to a new study.

“Kids who grow vegetables in a school garden and learn how to prepare meals seem to show a lasting desire for fresh, healthy food as young adults,” said Christine St. Pierre, a PhD candidate and researcher at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. “The hope is that such programs could help teens and young adults make better food choices as they grow older.”

Alumni of the program indicated that they were more open to trying new foods, and they expressed confidence in their ability to make healthy food choices.

SELECTED SOURCES “Participant perspectives on the impact of a school-based, experiential food education program across childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood” by C. St. Pierre et al., Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 1/5/24 • “School-based gardening and food programs may support healthier food attitudes later in life,” George Washington University, 1/8/24

whole grains give kids a lift

Children who ate whole-grain oats and whole-grain rye fared better than those who ate refined-grain products in a 2023 study. Researchers found lower cholesterol levels and reduced levels of fatigue in the whole-grain eaters compared to the others after the 16-week trial.

Whole-grain intake is linked to a reduced risk of cardiometabolic disease. Past studies have suggested that the reduction is due in part to positive changes in the gut microbiota. The authors of this new study reported beneficial effects on the gut.

[ health front ] NEWS THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU
8 APRIL 2024
SOURCE “Effects of wholegrain compared to refined grain intake on cardiometabolic risk markers, gut microbiota, and gastrointestinal symptoms in children: A randomized crossover trial” by M.T. Barlebo Madsen et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 10/23

The world of non-dairy desserts is growing every day, but you haven’t seen one quite like Cado! Cado Avocado Ice Cream is the first dairy free, avocado-based ice cream made fresh from the tree. With each batch, avocados are picked, ripened and cold-processed for a truly fresh dessert experience. Cado products are vegan, making them great for those who follow such a diet or those just looking for something different.

If you prefer the classic experience of diving into a pint, Cado’s got you covered. With flavors like Vanilla Bean, Cookies & Cream, Deep Dark Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, Java Chip and Choco Peanut Butter, you’re sure to find one you enjoy. You can also try their new sandwiches in flavors like Mint Chip and Double Chocolate. Whatever product you go for, you’re sure to find your new favorite dairy free dessert!

The Festival Foods Mealtime Mentors offer recipes and resources for a healthier you! Visit www.FestFoods.com/Recipes to explore recipes and filters based on diet, cooking method, course and more. Hungry for more? Visit www.FestFoods.com/Appetite to sign up for our weekly email!





















1pint or 6 pack


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APRIL 2024 9
Casey Wing, RDN, CD

all in for avocado!

With their smooth, buttery texture and mild flavor, avocados are a key ingredient in guacamole, and a popular garnish for Mexican dishes, burgers, and sandwiches.

Containing healthy fatty acids such as oleic acid and alphalinolenic acid, avocados are also a great source of vitamins

B6, C, E, K, folate, and niacin as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and fiber.

Make the most of avocados’ amazing health benefits with these fresh and tasty recipes! ●

25 min prep time + 30 min marinate time serves 4

Grilled Shrimp with Avocado-Lime Butter

From the Taste for Life test kitchen

Grilled Shrimp

¼ c lime juice

½ tsp cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Avocado-Lime Butter

2 avocados, peeled and pitted

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Salt

1. Whisk the ¼ cup lime juice, the cayenne pepper, and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium bowl. Add peeled and deveined shrimp and toss gently. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. While shrimps marinate, make Avocado-Lime Butter: In a food processor or high-speed blender, purée avocados, garlic, the tablespoon of lime juice, and the tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt. Set Avocado-Lime Butter aside.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high.

4. Remove shrimp from marinade. Thread 4 shrimp on each of 4 skewers.

5. Grill shrimp until pink and opaque, about 4 minutes per side. Serve shrimp skewers with Avocado-Lime Butter on the side.

Per serving: 271 Calories, 5 g Protein, 32 mg Cholesterol, 11 g Carbohydrates, 1 g Total sugars (0 g Added sugars), 7 g Fiber, 25 g Total fat (4 g sat), 335 mg Sodium, ★★ Vitamin B6, E, K, Folate, ★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), C, Phosphorus, Potassium

[ test kitchen ] BY TASTE FOR LIFE STAFF
10 APRIL 2024

10 min prep time

+ 2 hrs chill time serves 4

Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup

From the Taste for Life test kitchen

1½ c plain kefir

2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, chopped

Salt to taste

Mint, for garnish (optional)

1. In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients. Blend on High until smooth and creamy.

2. Chill soup in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Serve chilled.

Kitchen Note: This recipe makes a soup that is thick and creamy. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a small amount of water when blending.

Per serving: 242 Calories, 6 g Protein, 19 g Carbohydrates, 8 g Fiber, 18 g Total fat (4 g sat), 343 mg Sodium, ★★★ Vitamin K, ★★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B6,

C, Folate, Phosphorus, ★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B12, E, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc

APRIL 2024 11

Anti-Inflammatory Meals

nutritious food to the rescue

Many of today’s chronic conditions have roots in inflammation. Often this manifests as autoimmune issues, allergies, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, obesity, skin problems, joint pain, and generally not feeling well.

Eating healthy foods can help improve an inflammatory state. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, and healthy oils (coconut, avocado, extra-virgin olive, grapeseed) are all part of a nourishing diet that can help lower overall inflammation.

Emphasize vegetable consumption by eating twice as many veggies a day as fruits. Vegetables are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, all of which have been shown to decrease inflammation.

The following dishes offer many anti-inflammatory ingredients to support your health goals.

Fennel & Citrus Salad with Smoky Green Onion Dressing

Juice of ½ lemon

2 fennel bulbs, fronds picked

½ bunch dill fronds (keep stems to use for smoky green onion oil)

1 chioggia beet (optional)

6 radishes (optional)

2 oranges

1 grapefruit or blood orange

Smoky Green Onion Oil

½ bunch green onions

½ bunch chives

Scant ½ c grapeseed oil

¼ tsp salt flakes

⅛ tsp superfine sugar (optional)*

Chive Vinaigrette

½ bunch chives, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, bruised

¼ c extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp salt flakes

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

*Superfine sugar may also be called baker’s sugar, caster sugar, quick-dissolve sugar, or ultra-fine sugar. Superfine sugar can also be made by pulsing granulated sugar in a blender to give it a finer texture.

1. Pour some cold water into a bowl and add lemon juice.

2. Trim the very bottom off each fennel bulb, and leave on enough of the top green stalks to use as handles. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, shave fennel very thinly, in same direction as ribs run. Pop fennel shavings into bowl, along with fennel and dill fronds. If using beet and/or radish, shave these thinly and add to bowl. Leave bowl in fridge to get veggies super crunchy, crisp, and cold while you get on with the rest of the salad.

3. To make smoky green onion oil, cut green tops off green onions and reserve. Slice the white parts of the green onion into thin ribbons, about 1¼ inches long. Pop in bowl in fridge with fennel to curl up. Toss green onion tops in a heavy-based pan. Heat over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes until they turn a brighter green, with flecks of gold and black. While still hot, use tongs to add them to a small blender with dill stems, ½ bunch chives, grapeseed oil, salt, and sugar, if using. Blitz for 2 to 3 minutes to a bight green mush. The heat generated by the blender blades will help to extract the green color and the flavor of the herbs.

4. Drape a piece of cheesecloth over a

60 min prep time serves 6

strainer and place strainer over a bowl. Pour green onion mixture into strainer. Leave oil to drip through on its own, which should take about 20 minutes. Pour strained oil into a squeeze bottle or a small pouring jug, and set aside for serving.

5. Meanwhile, zest oranges and grapefruit, reserving zest, and then segment fruit. Squeeze leftover citrus peels and membranes into a small jar to extract any remaining juice. Add all chive vinaigrette ingredients and reserved zest. Seal jar and shake vigorously to help emulsify.

6. Drain chilled fennel mixture and green onion curls. Spin in a salad spinner until fully dry.

7. Toss fennel mixture in vinaigrette and place in a serving bowl. Garnish with citrus segments. Serve drizzled with smoky green onion oil.

Kitchen Note: Citrus is what helps fennel keep its snow-white sheen, so be sure to squeeze some lemon into the cold water the fennel’s bobbing around in. The green onion oil takes this dish to the next level.

Per serving (made with beet, radishes, and grapefruit): 312 Calories, 2 g Protein, 0 mg Cholesterol, 17 g Carbohydrates, 12 g Total sugars (0 g Added sugars), 5 g Fiber, 28 g Total fat (3 g sat), 239 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin C, K, ★★★★ Vitamin E, ★ Folate, Potassium,

12 APRIL 2024
APRIL 2024 13

continued from page 13

Salad of Warm Smoked Fish with Blueberries, Avocado, Walnuts & Greens

From Grow Cook Nourish by Darina Allen ($49.99, Kyle Books, 2024)

Honey-Chia Dressing

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Good pinch salt


2 handfuls each arugula, baby spinach leaves, and baby kale, washed and dried

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

3¾ oz blueberries

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

8 oz warm smoked salmon, flaked

12 walnuts, halved, toasted, and roughly chopped

Edible flowers, chives, or wild garlic flowers to garnish (optional)

1. Whisk ingredients for dressing together.

2. Put greens into a bowl. Sprinkle with dressing. Add onion and blueberries. Toss gently to coat. Pile onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with avocado, warm smoked fish, and walnuts on top. Fork up gently.

3. Garnish with edible flowers, if desired.

Kitchen Note: This may sound like an odd combination to try, but it’s surprisingly delicious and the chia seeds add extra crunch.

Per serving: 368 Calories, 15 g Protein, 13 mg Cholesterol, 16 g Carbohydrates, 6 g Total sugars (1 g Added sugars), 7 g Fiber, 29 g Total fat (4 g sat), 496 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin B12, D, K, ★★★ Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, ★★ Vitamin B3 (niacin), C, E, Folate, ★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc

20 min prep time serves 4

14 APRIL 2024

20 min prep time serves 2

Very Berry Beet Smoothie Bowl

From Champneys The Cookbook: Food for Wellness by Champneys ($32.99, Aster, 2024)

2 carrots

¾ c mango

2 large cooked beets

½ c apple juice

½ c unsweetened plant-based milk

½ c water

To Serve (All Optional)

1 kiwi fruit

½ small banana, sliced Raspberries


Goji berries

Whole flaxseeds

Pumpkin seeds

Sliced almonds

1. Peel carrots and mango. Roughly chop cooked beets, and put them into a high-powered blender or smoothie maker with apple juice, milk, and measured water.

2. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds, or until smooth. Divide smoothie between 2 large shallow bowls, and place slices of kiwi fruit and banana in center of bowl. Decorate with raspberries, blueberries, goji berries, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and almonds, if desired.

Kitchen Note: It’s easy to add vegetables to your breakfast if you make a smoothie bowl.

Per serving (made with almond milk, kiwi fruit, and banana): 182 Calories, 4 g Protein, 0 mg Cholesterol, 42 g Carbohydrates, 30 g Total sugars (0 g Added sugars), 7 g Fiber, 2 g Total fat (0 g sat), 153 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin A, C, ★★★ Folate, ★★ Vitamin B6, E, K, ★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium

APRIL 2024 15
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help fight plastic pollution

what you can do to guarantee a safer world

Since Earth Day began 54 years ago, in 1970, it’s become synonymous with roadside cleanups, the planting of trees, and other environmental initiatives. But planet health is more than just a green, trash-free neighborhood.

Plastic, for example, doesn’t disappear once someone has used and disposed of it. Because it isn’t biodegradable, plastic’s afterlife is up to a millennium (1,000 years!) longer than that of other kinds of trash. Much of that plastic tossed away on land ends up in the oceans, where it creates islands of trash and partially breaks down into microplastics, posing a danger to fish and other aquatic animals and making its way up the food chain. Within the next 30 years, researchers estimate, plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish.

Here are some anti-plastic measures you can take on April 22 and every day to improve your own health and that of the planet.

✔ Sign the petition. It takes only a few minutes, but you can add your voice to thousands of others around the world to tell the United Nations and other governmental organizations that we must act now to end plastic pollution. You’ll find the petition at Action.EarthDay.org/ global-plastics-treaty.

✔ Swear off single-use plastics. Closer to home and just as crucial, be aware of the plastic wrappings, bags, plates, utensils, and beverage lids that come with things you buy. Make a plan to avoid their use (taking your own reusable mug to the coffee shop, for example).

✔ BYOW (bring your own water). Take a reusable bottle of water with you wherever you go to avoid adding to the billions (yes, billions) of single-use plastic bottles trashed every year by US citizens.

✔ Clean house without plastic. Besides saving money, making your own cleaning products means buying fewer plastic bottles. Baking soda, for example, comes in cartons, and white vinegar is still available in glass bottles; using them to clean also avoids filling your house with chemical cleaning products and toxic synthetic fragrances.

✔ Become a “second-hander.” Thrift shops and websites are teeming with used products that are just as good as the new versions, but without all the plastic packaging.

✔ Educate yourself. To learn more about this year’s Earth Day theme, Planet vs. Plastics, visit www.earthday.org/earth-day-2024. ●

SELECTED SOURCES “10 ways to reduce plastic pollution” by Sarah Engler, www.nrdc.org, 1/5/16 • “Global Plastics Treaty,” https://Action.EarthDay.org • “Ocean plastic pollution an overview: data and statistics,” Ocean Literacy Portal, https://OceanLiteracy.unesco.org • “The origins of Earth Day,” www.EarthDay.org

[ quick tips ] BY NAN FORNAL 18 APRIL 2024

2024 Earth Day: Planet vs. Plastics

The theme of this year’s Earth Day, Planet vs. Plastics, shows the commitment of EarthDay.org to “call for the end of plastics for the sake of human and planetary health.” The goal of achieving a 60 percent reduction in the production of plastics by 2040 unites “students, parents, businesses, governments, churches, unions, individuals, and NGOs,” according to its website.

Kathleen Rogers, president of EarthDay.org, said, “The word environment means what surrounds you. In the case of plastics, we have become the product itself—it flows through our bloodstream, adheres to our internal organs, and carries with it heavy metals known to cause cancer and disease. Now this once-

thought amazing and useful product has become something else, and our health and that of all other living creatures hangs in the balance.”

The aim of this year’s Earth Day activities is to create a plastic-free future. The leaders of EarthDay. org hope to achieve this goal by promoting public awareness; working toward a United Nations treaty on phasing out the use of plastics worldwide; concentrating on putting an end to “fast fashion,” which produces and wastes vast amounts of plastic; and investing in the development of innovative technologies and materials.

SOURCE “Planet vs. Plastics: Global theme for Earth Day 2024,” www.EarthDay.org/planet-vs-plastics

APRIL 2024 19

uncovering Lyme disease

symptoms can be confusing

If you are exhausted, have joint or muscle pain, memory issues, and headaches, and/or suffer from an “atypical” condition—you might have Lyme disease, a master of disguises.

What is Lyme disease?

In the 1970s, some children in Lyme, CT, developed symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers discovered that blacklegged ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria had bitten the children, causing what came to be known as Lyme disease.

Early on, Lyme disease resembles the flu, with signs and symptoms that can include rash (erythema migrans), headaches, sore throat, chills, fever, fatigue, stiff neck, and swollen lymph nodes.

How do you know if you have it?

When diagnosing Lyme disease, most doctors look for the “bull’s-eye rash”—called the erythema migrans (EM) rash, with concentric rings surrounding a red center. But only 70 to 80 percent of patients develop it. An EM rash or multiple EM rashes can appear up to 30 days after a tick bite, but most commonly at seven days. This warm-to-touch rash grows up to 12 inches and is usually not painful or itchy.

A Lyme diagnosis should not entirely rely on lab testing. Available testing methods have high false-negative and low sensitivity rates, as Lyme bacteria evade the immune system and are immunosuppressive. The CDC recommends a two-step testing process. The first test, an ELISA test, looks for antibodies against Lyme. If positive, a Western Blot test is run, looking for IgM and IgG antibodies against antigens associated with Borrelia burgdorferi. ●

Drew Sinatra, ND, is a board-certified and California-licensed naturopathic doctor. As a self-described health detective, he works with patients on “health care” rather than “disease care” at his practice, the CLEAR Center of Health, in Northern California. His areas of expertise include digestive disorders, autoimmune disease, hormonal balance, fatigue, mold and mycotoxin illness, and complex chronic disease.

Pest prevention

Bug repellent is a must for anyone who could be exposed to potentially diseasecarrying insects. DEET has been the go-to insect repellent ingredient for decades. Although repellents made with natural ingredients tend to work for shorter periods of time, they can be effective for staving off insects.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus (also called PMD) is a natural repellent that may provide protection from insect bites. In its own tests, Consumer Reports found that products containing at least 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus offered between three and seven hours of protection from mosquito bites. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is not an essential oil, but an extract from the lemon-scented gum tree (Corymbia citriodora).

Other alternatives to DEET include tea tree, citronella, patchouli, and lavender essential oils. Higher concentrations tend to offer better protection. Always test on a small area of skin first; dilutions of 20 to 50 percent are more effective for keeping away insects but can irritate the skin.

—Taste for Life Staff

SELECTED SOURCES “How well does oil of lemon eucalyptus work in bug sprays?” by C. Roberts, Consumer Reports, www.CR.org, 5/26/23 • Naturally Bug-Free: 75 Nontoxic Recipes for Repelling Mosquitoes, Ticks, Fleas, Ants, Moths & Other Pesky Insects by Stephanie L. Tourles ($10.95, Storey Publishing, 2016) • “Researchers compare ‘natural’ mosquito repellents to DEET,” Entomological Society of America, www.EntymologyToday.org

[ healthy family ] BY DREW SINATRA, ND
20 APRIL 2024

Should you get a second opinion?

An accurate diagnosis may be a challenge for doctors because patients can have Lyme disease along with multiple sclerosis, ALS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, heart problems, arthritis, neurological disease, and more.

If incorrectly diagnosed and treated, Lyme-diseasecausing bacteria affect other body systems with signs and symptoms including

• Chronic fatigue

• Muscle aches

• Joint pain and/or swelling

• Neurological issues

• Memory issues

• Lightheadedness

• Fainting

• Pain that disrupts sleep

• Gastrointestinal upset

• Chest pain or palpitations

• Headaches

• Paresthesia (pins-and-needle sensations, burning, itching)

• Visual disturbances

• Light/sound sensitivity

• Anxiety

• Depression

If you have symptoms, live in an endemic area, and recall a tick bite, yet have negative results, I recommend seeing a Lyme-literate doctor, found through the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). They are trained to recognize, test, and rule in or out Lyme disease and coinfections like anaplasma, ehrlichia, babesia, or bartonella. A Lyme-literate doctor combines conventional and natural medicine. Integrative medicines support damaged tissue, help modulate the immune system, and maximize detoxification pathways for more effective healing.

APRIL 2024 21

give your brain a boost!

sharpen your focus and banish brain fog

You can’t concentrate, you feel fuzzy and disorganized, you have trouble coming up with the right words and phrases. That inability to think clearly is known as brain fog, and it can make you feel disconnected from your work and your life. If you’ve been feeling the fog, consider adding to your diet one or more of these nutrients that support brain health.

Vitamin B12

Essential to brain and nerve function, vitamin B12 may help with memory loss, concentration, mental function, mood, energy, and Alzheimer’s disease, among other conditions. Vitamin B12 can be found in eggs, fish, poultry, meat, and fortified dairy products and cereals.


The active ingredient in the spice turmeric, curcumin can increase the levels of BDNF—brain-derived neurotrophic factor—in the brain. A deficiency of BDNF, a growth hormone that works in the brain, has been linked to depression and Alzheimer’s disease.


L-theanine & Caffeine

L-theanine is a natural chemical found in tea leaves, which are also a source of caffeine, a stimulant. Caffeine keeps you awake, but it can also make you jittery. L-theanine is used to decrease anxiety and promote relaxation. Put them together, and you get the boost of caffeine without the edge. Research indicates that L-theanine plus caffeine improves accuracy, attention, reaction time, and focus.

Omega 3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain function—a lack of omega 3s can lead to fatigue, poor memory and circulation, mood swings, and/ or depression. Among the brain-related conditions for which they have shown promise are depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, and cognitive decline. Fish and other seafood, chia seeds, flaxseed, and walnuts are all food sources of omega 3s.


Deficiencies in iron are linked to cognitive impairments including intelligence, attention span, and sensory perception, as well as to behavioral and emotional issues. It’s key that children get enough iron, as iron intake in youth has been shown to correlate with better brain function as an adult. Emerging evidence suggests that cognitive function may be improved through iron supplementation. Foods high in iron include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and other legumes, tofu, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, dried fruit, and whole grains.

Before incorporating new supplements into your diet, talk with your healthcare practitioner about side effects, drug interactions, and possible causes for your brain fog. ●

SELECTED SOURCES “Effect of green tea phytochemicals on mood and cognition” by C. Dietz and M. Dekker, Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2017 • “Effects of iron supplementation on cognitive development in schoolage children: Systematic review and meta-analysis” by B.T. Gutema et al., PLoS One, 6/27/23 • “Effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on brain functions: A systematic review” by I.M. Dighiri et al., Cureus, 10/22 • “Influences of vitamin B12 supplementation on cognition and homocysteine in patients with vitamin B12 deficiency and cognitive impairment” by A. Ueno et al., Nutrients, 4/2/22 • “Low vitamin B12 levels: An underestimated cause of minimal cognitive impairment and dementia” by S. Jatoi et al., Cureus, 2/20 • “A systematic review of the antidepressant effects of curcumin: Beyond monoamines theory” by J.N. Matias et al., Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 5/21 • “A systematic review and meta-analysis of the omega-3 fatty acids effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)” by S. Ziaei et al., Nutritional Neuroscience, 8/17/23

Keep moving to keep your brain sharp

The body-brain connection is real, according to studies that back the benefits of moderate to vigorous exercise for maintaining and improving cognition.

One recent study that found that people’s levels of lactate and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, rose slightly after 30 minutes of easy cycling but surged during and after six minutes of strenuous cycling. Exercise spurs muscles to produce lactate, which can then be used as fuel by the brain, while BDNF stimulates the growth of new brain cells and is involved in memory, learning, and neuroplasticity.

Another, much larger, recent study accessed two databases of health records to look at genetic data of close to 350,000 people and physical activity and cognitive scores for some of them. They determined that those with a genetic likelihood to engage in physical activity generally did so, and when their exercise level was at least moderate—for example, jogging rather than walking—they performed better on cognitive tests.

A meta-analysis of studies on exercise to improve mild cognitive impairment found that the best physical activity for maintaining cognitive function and slowing decline may be a “multicomponent exercise” program that focuses on strength or resistance training, endurance or aerobic activity, and balance training.

No matter what age group you belong to, there’s no time like the present to begin an exercise regimen aimed at maintaining your brain health over a lifetime—and when you do, think about mixing up your workouts.

SELECTED SOURCES “Any regular physical activity at any age linked to better brain function in later life,” http:// NeuroscienceNews.com, 2/22/23 • “Comparative efficacy of various exercise interventions on cognitive function . . .” by X. Huang et al., Journal of Sport and Health Science, 3/22 • “Fasting for 20 h does not affect exercise-induced increases in circulating BDNF in humans” by T.D. Gibbons et al., Journal of Physiology, 1/11/23 • “Genetic insights into the causal relationship between physical activity and cognitive functioning” by B. Cheval et al., Scientific Reports, 3/31/23 • “How exercise enhances aging brains” by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, www.NYTimes.com, 3/3/21 • “How exercise leads to sharper thinking and a healthier brain” by Gretchen Reynolds, Washington Post, 4/5/23

APRIL 2024 23


Find lots of creative ways to cook with cauliflower at tasteforlife.com/cauliflower

Like its cousin broccoli, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable with florets that grow on top of a thick stem. However, it has a mild, slightly nutty taste, in contrast to broccoli’s more bitter flavor. Most supermarkets carry the white variety, but cauliflower can be found in a rainbow of colors, including green, orange, and purple.

While a cup of raw, chopped cauliflower has just 100 calories, it is rich in important vitamins and nutrients including vitamins C and K, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. The compounds that give cauliflower its unique taste and smell also offer health benefits, including a reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Cauliflower can be prepared in so many ways, and is a popular stand-in for rice, potatoes, and even chicken wings and steak! Instead of relegating cauliflower to sidedish status, try grating, mashing, puréeing, steaming, or roasting it to create a center-stage entrée—the options are endless! ●

SELECTED SOURCES “The beginner’s guide to cruciferous vegetables” by Esther Ellis, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, www.EatRight.org, 7/20 • “Cauliflower,” SNAP-ed Connection, www.snaped.fns.usda.gov • “Cauliflower: The new nutrition superstar,” www.MayoClinicHealthSystem. org, 2/27/18 • “Health benefits of cauliflower” by Angela Nelson, www. WebMD.com, 6/14/21

[ living healthy | ingredient ]
24 APRIL 2024

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Quinoa, Arugula & Creamy Romesco Dressing

From Carbivore by Phoebe Lapine ($32, Hachette Book Group, 2024)

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets Extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp smoked paprika, divided Sea salt

45 min prep time serves 4

½ c raw almonds, divided 1 (16 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers (about 6 whole peppers), drained

1 Tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

½ tsp red pepper flakes

5 oz baby arugula

2 c cooked quinoa

2 Tbsp golden raisins

1. Preheat oven to 425˚. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. On prepared baking sheet, toss together cauliflower, 3 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon of the smoked paprika, and ⅛ teaspoon of the salt until coated. Arrange in an even layer. Roast for about 25 minutes until lightly browned.

3. Roughly chop ¼ cup of the almonds and add them to cauliflower. Continue to roast for 5 minutes more until nuts are toasted. Remove and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, make romesco dressing: in a highspeed blender, combine roasted red bell peppers, remaining ¼ cup almonds, the vinegar, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the remaining ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, and ¼ cup of the oil. Purée until smooth, adding more oil, as needed, to create a creamy consistency.

5. In a large salad bowl, toss together arugula, cooked quinoa, cauliflower, raisins, and ¼ cup of the romesco. Serve with remaining romesco on the side.

Kitchen Note: Spanish-inspired romesco sauce adds a punchy acidity to this recipe. The vinegar is offset with sweetness from the golden raisins. To add more protein, top this salad with grilled chicken breast or blackened shrimp. Add crumbled feta, ricotta salata, or goat cheese as an additional companion. Quinoa can easily be swapped with sorghum, millet, buckwheat groats, wild or brown rice, or lentils.

Per serving: 461 Calories, 13 g Protein, 0 mg Cholesterol, 42 g Carbohydrates, 13 g Total sugars (0 g Added sugars), 11 g Fiber, 30 g Total fat (4 g sat), 769 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin B6, C, E, K, Folate, ★★★★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Phosphorus, ★★★ Magnesium, ★★ Vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), Iron, Potassium, Zinc, ★ Vitamin B3 (niacin), Calcium

[ living healthy | recipe ]
APRIL 2024 25

plant-based protein

healthy options for your next meal

Plant-based eating is nothing new. Think grains, beans, soy, lentils, nuts, and seeds, all of which have been humanity’s staple foods for a long time.

Today, whether for economical, ethical, environmental, or health reasons, more people than ever are interested in adding plant-based options into their meals.

The Power of Plants

Many plant foods are rich in protein, making them an important part of a healthy diet. Here are options to consider when doing your weekly meal planning.


¼ cup 7.5 g

Beans ½ cup, cooked 8 g


Chia seeds

2 Tbsp 5 g

2 Tbsp 3.5 g

Chickpeas ½ cup, cooked 7 g

Edamame ½ cup, cooked 7 g

Lentils ½ cup, cooked 4 g


½ cup 19 g

Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 2 Tbsp 5 g


¼ cup 6.5 g

Quinoa ½ cup, cooked 4 g

Tempeh ½ cup 17 g

Tofu (firm) ½ cup 10 g

Whole-wheat pasta ½ cup, cooked 4 g

Another impressive plant-based protein choice is pea protein, which is made by drying and grinding yellow peas. Pea protein is easily digested, nonallergenic, and high in protein and iron. It contains all nine essential amino acids. Find it in plant-based meat alternatives (like burgers), energy bars, baked goods, and plantbased dairy products.

Non-Dairy Delights

Many dairy-free products, particularly the milks, can be substituted for traditional dairy. Here are some to consider.

✔ Almond milk. Neutral in flavor; try the unsweetened variety in savory recipes.

✔ Coconut milk. This dairy-free product can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

✔ Oat milk. With its higher natural sugar content, this variety works well in baked goods.

✔ Soy milk. Fairly neutral tasting, the unsweetened variety is often used for savory sauces and dressings.

✔ Plant-based fats. To replace the richness of butter, try refined coconut oil. It has no aroma or coconut taste and can be used in either solid or melted form.

Flavor bombs

To add richness and depth to plant-based meals, consider stocking up on the following items.

✔ Dried mushrooms add a savory element to casseroles, pastas, soups, and sauces. Look for earthy shiitake, morel, or porcini dried mushrooms, and rehydrate them.

✔ Miso. This paste, made from fermented soy, can be transformed into a soup, or whisked into salad dressings or pasta dishes. The white variety is the mildest and sweetest.

✔ Soy sauce or tamari. One of the world’s oldest foods, soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, salt, water, and oftentimes roasted grains. For a glutenfree alternative, look for gluten-free tamari.

✔ Sun-dried tomatoes. With a rich umami flavor, sun-dried tomatoes add bright color and bold flavor to pizzas, pastas, salads, and sandwiches. Stir them into hummus for a quick flavor boost. ●

[ cook-at-home ] BY EVA MILOTTE 26 APRIL 2024
SOURCE The Complete Plant Based Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen ($34.99, America’s Test Kitchen, 2020)

Black Bean Burgers

From The Complete Beans & Grains Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen ($34.99, America’s Test Kitchen, 2024)

2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

4 scallions, minced

3 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp hot sauce

½ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp table salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1 oz tortilla chips, crushed coarse (½ c)

¼ c vegetable oil, divided

6 hamburger buns, toasted if desired

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels. Spread beans over towels and pat dry. Let sit for 15 minutes.

2. Whisk eggs and flour in a large bowl until

uniform paste forms. Stir in scallions; cilantro; garlic; cumin; hot sauce, if using; coriander; salt; and pepper until well combined.

3. Process tortilla chips in a food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add black beans and pulse until beans are roughly broken down, about 5 pulses. Transfer black bean mixture to bowl with egg mixture and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

4. Divide bean mixture into 6 equal portions. Using your lightly moistened hands, firmly pack each portion into a tight ball, and then flatten to a 3½-inch-wide patty.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully place 3 patties in skillet and cook until crisp and well

35 min prep time +60 min chill time serves 6

browned on first side, about 5 minutes. Gently flip patties using 2 spatulas, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and cook until crisp and well browned on second side, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and tent with aluminum foil. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and remaining 3 patties. Transfer burgers to buns and serve.

Kitchen Note: Earthy black beans make a really satisfying nonmeat burger. Spreading the black beans on paper towels rids them of moisture. Ground tortilla chips act as a flavorful starchy binder. Letting the mixture sit in the refrigerator for an hour gives the starches time to soak up moisture from the eggs, so the patties are easier to shape. Per serving: 726 Calories, 38 g Protein, 53 mg Cholesterol, 113 g Carbohydrates, 7 g Total sugars (0 g Added sugars), 24 g Fiber, 16 g Total fat (2 g sat), 347 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, ★★★★ Potassium, ★★★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, ★★ Vitamin K, Calcium, ★ Vitamin E

APRIL 2024 27

prevent kidney stones

easy ways to lower your risk

Despite their tiny size, kidney stones can cause immense pain. While some kidney stones are caused by genetics, others are the result of dehydration, medical conditions, medications, or vitamin/ mineral imbalances.

3 ways to lower kidney stone risk

qHydration. The best way to prevent kidney stones, regardless of type, is to drink more fluids. Experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine suggest drinking enough liquids to generate at least two liters of urine per day. Water is best, but all liquids count!

rHealthy diet. High sodium intake is linked to higher calcium levels in urine, so aim for less than 2 grams of sodium per day. Too much protein may also lead to stone formation. Cutting calcium from the diet won’t help to prevent calcium stones. The body needs calcium, and without adequate intake—800 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) per day—oxalates (that bind with calcium) can become even more concentrated in urine.

sNatural remedies. Emerging research suggests there may be a role for complementary therapies in lowering kidney stone risk. These include vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E. Additionally, some studies suggest that oxalate-metabolizing probiotics like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium may be beneficial. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before adding any new supplements or herbs to your regimen. ●

SELECTED SOURCES “What is cystinuria?” International Cystinuria Foundation, www.Cystinuria.org • “Kidney stones,” Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.HopkinsMedicine.org • “Kidney stone prevention: Is there a role for complementary and alternative medicine?” by A. Cupisti et al., Nutrients, 2/23 • “Struvite stones,”; “Uric acid stones,” National Kidney Foundation, www.Kidney.org • “Vitamins as regulators of calcium-containing kidney stones—new perspectives on the role of the gut microbiome” by J.A. Chmiel et al., Nature Reviews Urology, 10/23

[ healthy strategies ]

Types of kidney stones

A kidney stone, also known as a nephrolith or renal calculus, is a pebble-like object that forms in the kidney from waste material in urine. There are four types of kidney stones:

■ Calcium stones account for 80 percent of all kidney stones; they develop when excess calcium becomes concentrated in the kidney and binds with other waste material (like oxalate or phosphate) to form stones.

■ Uric acid stones are created when urine becomes too acidic. Compounds called purines (found in certain types of alcohol, fish, seafood, red meat, and organ meat) increase the body’s production of monosodium urate and lead to the formation of uric acid crystals.

■ Struvite stones sometimes form in the aftermath of a urinary tract infection. Ammonia from bacteria causes urine to become more alkaline and leads to a buildup of struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate).

■ Cystine stones are caused by a rare genetic disorder called cystinuria. People with cystinuria cannot reabsorb certain amino acids (arginine, cystine, lysine, and ornithine), so these substances concentrate in their urine. Excess cystine can crystallize and form stones.

APRIL 2024 29


[ just
for kids ]
30 APRIL 2024
transportation word search
“ ”
Garden as though you will live forever.
—William Kent
[ food for the spirit ]
APRIL 2024 31
$169 GARDEN BAR FRUIT LEATHER JERKY 1.1 – 1.31 oz assorted varieties
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